World in brief

October 2, 2014

United States

Speaking up for safety

The White House has launched a campaign to raise public awareness of sexual assault on campus. The “It’s On Us” campaign encourages students to intervene in situations that they think could lead to an assault and aims to “create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported” on campus. US President Barack Obama said he hoped that the campaign would “fundamentally shift” the way the country treats the issue.

Luxembourg

Innovation support

Luxembourg’s National Research Fund and Luxinnovation, the national agency for innovation and research, signed a collaborative agreement for the years 2014-17 designed to tighten their links and to stimulate and support research, development and innovation. The enhanced collaboration aims to encourage innovation within companies and the development of public-private partnerships, as well as to support commercial exploitation of research carried out in public institutions. Enabling researchers to tap more effectively into Europe-wide research programmes such as Horizon 2020 is another goal.

Russia

Enrolment ban widens

Russia’s education watchdog has barred 11 more institutions from enrolling new students. Among the state and private institutions are five state universities in Moscow, Ivanovo, Makhach­kala, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. So far this year, almost 120 institutions have been blacklisted amid a government drive to increase quality in the sector. The latest institutions failed to “comply with instructions following checks”, said the Federal Education and Science Supervision Agency (Rosobrnadzor).

Bolivia

Indigenous graduations

Bolivia’s indigenous universities have graduated their first students. The country’s president, Evo Morales, handed out degree certificates to the 118 students, from Tupac Katari Aymara University, Apiaguaiki Tupa Guarani University and Casimiro Huanca Quechua University, in a joint ceremony in the city of Cocha­bamba. The government of Mr Morales set up the institutions, named after indigenous heroes, at which students are free to dress in traditional clothing. Speaking at the event, he said that indigenous students may face discrimination at other public universities.

Hong Kong

Democracy protest

Students at Hong Kong universities boycotted classes in an action against Chinese government restrictions on elections in the territory. The spark was the decision that only candidates approved by a pro-Beijing selection committee may stand in elections for Hong Kong chief executive in 2017. Organisers of a student rally at the start of the week-long boycott said 13,000 participated, but it is not known how many students at Hong Kong’s seven universities took part.

Australia

Murdoch v-c suspended

Perth’s Murdoch University has suspended its vice-chancellor, Richard Higgott, over allegations of misconduct. According to The Australian, the university has been investigating the allegations for some time but took the decision to suspend Professor Higgott and to hand the matter over to Western Australia’s Corruption and Crime Commission after new evidence came to light. The university has said nothing about the nature of the allegations, but there is speculation that it relates to favouritism in appointments.

 

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